Module 4

Canberra Croquet Club

Advanced Coaching Notes

BASIC BREAK MAKING


Objective

In this module you will learn:

The four ball break is the best tactic because it increases the chances of success - percentage play is very important.

An ideal break is when you have a pioneer at your next hoop and a pivot ball somewhere in the middle of the court.

Practice

Put a pioneer at hoop 2, a pivot near the peg, and leave yourself a short rush to hoop 1.

See how many bisques you need for an all round break. Remember, there are no difficult strokes, just four simple strokes which you do successfully every day - a straight drive, take off, hoop approach and hoop running.

SOME TRICKS OF THE TRADE TO GET THE BALLS INTO THE BEST POSITION

Running hoops

When you are setting up at hoops 1, 3, 5, 1-back, 3-back and penultimate always try and get the croqueted ball well ahead of the hoop on the non-playing side – don't just roll up to the hoop and leave it about level with the hoop. If the ball is 6 or even 10 feet in front of the hoop, you have a better chance of running the hoop with control and leaving a meaningful rush. With the other hoops, you need not get quite so far in front because you have to turn to go to your next hoop, but the ball must still be ahead if it is to be of any use.

The best hoop approach shot is therefore from about 4–6 feet almost directly behind the hoop - a stop shot or a straight drive is then all that is needed to get to the balls in position. Therefore, when approaching a hoop, aim to rush a ball to a position 4–6 feet directly behind the hoop.

Loading hoops

The opponent has attempted hoop 1 with their own ball and failed to make the hoop leaving you, say halfway between hoops 1 and 2. You shoot at the opponents balls and roquet one of them; then what?

Too many players just take off from the ball they roqueted to the other ball and then run the hoop.

If your ball is fairly close to the opponent balls, do not just try and roquet one, play a firmer (but not a wild one) stroke so that you can shift the roqueted ball away from (behind) the hoop.

Then try a stop shot to get the croqueted ball as close as possible to the next hoop, even if this means leaving a 6 foot roquet to the other ball - have confidence!

Rushes

Unless the balls are very close together, the rush is not an accurate shot - try it and see what happens! The straight stop shot, drive or even a small split shot can be far more accurate.

At the beginning of a break, it is often necessary to rush a ball to your next hoop. But at other times think about rushing a ball to behind your target hoop (it does not matter too much if the ball is a bit wayward) and then play a drive shot so that you end up close to your pioneer ball.

SOME BRIEF THEORY

Diagram 1 shows an example of the Straight Shot Principle

[Figure 1]

Diagram 2 shows as example of the Rush Line Principle

[Figure 2]

Say your pioneer at hoop 2 is well out from the hoop, which type of stroke is likely to be more accurate?

Practice

Try these two strokes to decide which one you prefer to play; ideally you want to be competent at both strokes.

Overall practice

Throw the balls around the court and see how long it takes to bring the break under control - good pioneers and useful pivots. Once you have reached that state, stop the practice and start with the balls in another initial position.

Don't forget - constructive practice, not just playing around!